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RGU student wins Energy Institute competition


Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Lucy Obwogo has scooped top prize in an annual competition held by the Energy Institute to celebrate Aberdeen’s best MSc students.

The event, sponsored by Wood Group PSN, was organised by the EI Aberdeen, Highlands and Islands branch to honour the best energy papers from MSc students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Aberdeen (UoA). 

This annual event is held to bring together industry and academia, showcasing the latest thinking and research from MSc students and a chance to network with prospective future employers.

Six students were shortlisted by the two universities, with the judging panel including senior industry figures from Paradigm Flow Services, Xcite Energy, Wood Group Kenny, GDF Suez E&P (UK) and Awilco Drilling Plc.

Lucy, who is studying Petroleum Production Engineering, received first prize of £250 for her thesis ‘Artificial Lift Evaluation for Ngamia Field, Block 10bb, Kenya’.

Lucy said: “Winning the EI competition was both humbling and exciting!  My aim for the night was to give a good enough presentation worthy of the setting, especially considering that the panel of judges were CEOs and MDs. I had really not expected to win, and so when announced the winner I was quite thrilled.”

She added: “Presenting before the panel of people with so much experience and the opportunity to engage on my project topic was a privilege and I was able to learn from their invaluable contributions. This will go a long way in actual implementation of my project in the Kenyan Oil and Gas industry.”

Dr. Mohamed Amish
, Oil and Gas Engineering Programme Leader at RGU, said: “I am delighted for Lucy’s significant achievement. She showed tremendous enthusiasm, a high level of engineering knowledge and skills, initiative and independent thinking in executing this project. She worked closely with the oil and gas industry to identify and evaluate artificial lift methods that would optimise production and so maximise the economic benefits to Kenya.

“The School of Engineering is very proud of Lucy’s excellent performance in the MSc Petroleum Production Course which culminated in her win. It reflects very well on the high standards of the MSc Oil and Gas Programmes we offer in the School and the high quality students we at RGU attract.”

He added: “Staff and students at RGU would like to thank the panel of judges and event sponsor, WoodGroupPSN, who hosted the competition. We would also like to thank the Energy Institute, Aberdeen for their contribution to making this exciting academic collaboration happen. The judges have taken time out of their busy schedules to assist and for this we are very grateful.”

Nigel Bradburn FEI, Chair of the local Energy Institute branch, said: "Once again the two universities in Aberdeen have proved to be centres of academic excellence with over 400 students eligible this year drawn to the city from some 45 countries. The submissions covered a variety of topics across the exploration, drilling, projects and operations phases of our industry and demonstrated the type of thinking needed to tackle the many challenges we face. These two world renowned universities bring to the marketplace some of these pioneering ideas and solutions.

"The judges were extremely impressed with both the quality and relevance of all six student presentations and this was clearly reflected in the judges’ scoring.  It’s really encouraging to see in-depth research and fresh ideas coming from the next generation and I want to congratulate all the students for their high calibre thesis submissions. Students are the lifeblood of an ever evolving sector and in the current climate it is even more important that academia and business are closely aligned.”

Judge Stuart MacLeod, MD of Delphian Ballistics, said: "It is a pleasure to support the Energy Institute and have a close engagement with the University students. The EI and the Universities continue to be excellent ambassadors for the North East of Scotland.  Aberdeen has an enviable record in producing business leaders, game changing technology and innovative solutions which continue to be at the core of our ever-changing industry.”

Fellow judge, Steve Jewell of Selgovia, said: “The Energy Institute’s MSc Best Energy Paper Competition is a fantastic opportunity for the very best energy students in Aberdeen to pit their wits against each other, and to have their hard work scrutinised by a judging panel of distinguished industry veterans.  The variety of topics covered and the quality of the papers presented this year has been outstanding.”

CEO of Awilco Drilling, Jon Bryce added: “I was very pleased to play a part in the 2015 Energy Institute MSc Student Best Paper Competition. I thought that the standard of submission and presentation was very high and clearly showcased the talent currently being produced by RGU & Aberdeen University.

Host Dave Stewart, CEO of Wood Group PSN, said: “Wood Group is strongly committed to supporting and developing new talent for the oil and gas industry, and it has therefore been an honour to host this year’s EI competition.

 “Through the judging process I was offered an insight into the inspiring and innovative ideas being developed by young engineers. The winning entrant and shortlisted candidates should be commended for their academic efforts, which showed strong understanding of the sector and vision as to how we tackle future challenges.”

UoA students Andrea Reischl and Kirsten Grieve picked up second and third place respectively.

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology